September 2010 - Catalina Getaway
I've been spoiled for the last few years. Not only have I worked as a self-employed writer / producer, I've been the skipper of my own boat. There are parallels, being responsible for what I do for both the rewards and consequences, without the mediating influence of a boss or captain.
It really is different not owning a boat. I just got back from Catalina on a sail, but I was simply crew, helpful but subordinate. I could only offer suggestions, not make decisions. Luckily I was with two congenial, easy going people who were good company, skipper Evan Sandler and Brenda Varma. The boat was a comfortably appointed Catalina 30 a sloop with a furling jib and every electronic device I could hope for, GPS, radar, automatic identification system, auto pilot and wind direction indicator. I've been used to a compass and mast head fly alone. Powered by the diesel motor until the winds kicked up to 20 knots, we traveled from Marina del Rey to Isthmus Harbor in five hours, far faster than any sail I've ever made on La Runa..
photo by Brenda Varma
I spent my days on Santa Catalina hiking, swimming and snorkeling. As usual, the fish were worth visiting. I watched hundreds hanging around the moorings and by the rock walls, unseen by my fellow boaters. Far below I found two big fat orange Garibaldi fish hanging around their caves. When I dove down to take a closer look neither fish was happy, backing up while giving me the evil eye until I swam away.
Despite the fact that I've had a largely sedentary summer, interrupted by daily bouts of exercise, I actually dropped a couple of pounds. I just went in for a slew of blood tests this morning, so I'll have results to share later.
Now that the chill has finally come off the ocean water, I'll get in more swimming as summer fades into fall. Aside from the shortening days the transition is imperceptible here in Southern California. It's been cold and goomy for the most part at Venice Beach so it's hard to believe that many partss of the county have been experiencing record heat.
Autumn is already touching the upper reaches of New England. I hope to travel there shortly to visit family while the trees are dressed in fall finery. At this point the only thing keeping me in town is the final feedback on my energy and water conservation documentary which I recently finished. I just began a couple of writing gigs that I can do from anywhere so laptop in hand, I plant to travel soon.
Photo - Evan Sandler and Brenda Varma at Catalina Harbor